admit it.

Okay, okay. I will admit it because this is anonymous and exactly the reason I started this blog in the first place – to admit things that I couldn’t even admit to myself.

Remember that persian girl that I was lucky to meet when I was younger? Well, the poor thing went through a serious ugly phase, yes. But she was perfect in other ways. Perfectly sweet, soft-spoken, extremely polite, smart as a whip, loved animals and had a bleeding heart. Ugh, whatever! Little did everyone know that in the 7th grade, she decided she wanted to experiment with pot. I was so happy to be her friend that I just went right along with whatever she wanted to do. Okay, admission number one – she never forced me and would have probably respected me had I refused to do it.

We had a few experiences with pot in the 8th grade; nothing serious, but definitely experimented. It was usually a connection of hers. She made friends will all different kinds of people and found herself in the right situation all the time. When I changed schools in the 10th grade, the demographic was extremely different. I went from a neighborhood with affluent families (we lived in the smallest, cheapest apartments possible, in the outskirts of the community that was just barely lucky enough to be included in the school’s range) to a school with kids from families with a MUCH different social and economic makeup, essentially, the exact opposite of my previous high school. Here, as one would assume correctly, pot was much more prevalent, among other things. Luckily I was smart enough to not be stupid. Okay, kind of. I smoked periodically, usually when my mom let me visit my persian friend and stay for the weekend.

In my junior year of high school (I have yet to get to that portion of my background with my parents, but I will), I was working odd jobs to help keep the roof over my and my mother’s head. Needless to say, between working and going to school and dealing with a mom that was getting crazier by the day, by the time I graduated high school, I felt I had earned my right to be an adult. I started going to a community college full time, and started a part time job. I was so responsible, helping my mother pay the bills, quickly becoming a trusted employee at work, and putting myself through school. But things at home were getting worse and when I wasn’t at school or work, locking myself in my room became increasingly frustrating.

Again with the excitement of feeling accepted. My coworkers accepted me and I joined the little clique of people that hung out after work, drinking, smoking, laughing and doing who-knows what. We would go to school, go to work, then join each other at someones house and laze about. Pot was a big part of it. But I must say, never, NEVER did I lose control. NEVER did I allow myself to forget about my responsibilities or do anything stupid other than…well, laze about and smoke pot. Even when I drank, I was in control. I know it sounds like I’m saying that because I wasn’t in control but I thought I was, but I swear. I was. As a matter of fact, I used to get angry with myself for NOT being able to let go. Particularly because I spent time with these people so I could.

Admission number two – Friends come easy when you smoke pot. Granted, friends come easy when you have a sparkling personality like mine, too. LOL. But really, some of my best friends were found over the sharing of a joint, and I don’t regret those times at all.

The problem was, over the last few years, I’d realized that I clearly have issues with depression (admission number three). My therapists (particularly the jedi OT) have brought it up in the past, but because I was always afraid that they would prescribe medication, I would quickly brush it aside and go on. They wouldn’t bring it up again because they knew it made me uncomfortable. Well I never saw one long enough for them to bring it back up again. (I didn’t want to be like my mom, losing my mind with the 15 a day pills that I was afraid it would inevitably turn into.)

Admission number four – Over the last couple of years, I’ve realized it’s time to quit. The added challenge? My husband, the child of former hippies, smokes profusely. Except he’s one of those functioning smokers who likes to smoke before he goes on a run, and who doesn’t get stupid afterward. His parents smoke too and they are perfectly functioning professionals. They are out there – functioning pot smokers. I’m afraid I’m just not one of them.

Lucky for me, he decided he’s over it and made it a resolution to quit for the new year. This was such a relief, because I used him as an excuse to not quit for more than a couple of weeks (admission number five), despite knowing that I needed to so I could get a handle on my depression. I know what you’re thinking, but I don’t think my depression had anything to do with smoking. Okay, not entirely at least. I think it had to do with how negatively I perceive things (not a chemical imbalance, hence my hesitation to be prescribed medicine before taking part in some kind of cognitive behavioral therapy).

Sure, we will smoke on special occasions – when we go backpacking, if we have a long vacation or if we get to see our best friends that moved to south america a couple of years ago. After all, it’s a recreational drug and we’re not irresponsible adults. We just got into a habit.

But so far, it’s been a few weeks. Boy oh boy do I want a spliff. I do feel better in the mornings, which is nice. Somewhat. I still don’t want to get up on workdays, but that’s just because I’m starting to hate my job again. Two years seems to be my threshold. I think it’s because I’m not doing what I really want to do. I don’t quite know what that is yet (Yes you do Laila! You want to be an actress – admit it dammit! You love acting and you would LOVE to be in a play because you KNOW you are good at it, you just never give yourself enough credit or have the guts to put yourself out there and show people how good you really are. Oh! Was that admission number six that just slipped out?!)

Honestly, I think smoking pot has a similar affect as smoking cigarettes, in that part of what is so relaxing is not the drugs or the nicotine, but the deep breathing you do while you’re smoking.

So there you have it. I have admitted to myself that I was addicted. I have admitted to myself that it was hurting me. And that I needed to take care of myself and this was getting in the way.

Oh! Silly me – I almost forgot. A side effect of stopping smoking is that you have dreams. I don’t know if it’s because you are just able to remember things better, but every time I have stopped smoking for a few days, I always have the most lucid dreams – which explains the interesting midnight head films I’ve been experiencing this week. By the way, I must credit my blog friends, zephyrliving and rubyred, for inspiring me to get this off my chest. Looking back, I was probably hoping we would have some sort of discussion after I wrote about my dreams (admission number 7 perhaps?), because the first thing that has come to mind when I remember my dreams is that the only reason I remember them is because I stopped smoking.

Okay, now for a little anxiety. I really, truly hope that this does not drive any of my visitors away. I live in California and really have NOTHING against those that smoke pot. I believe in legalizing it and feel that, if used responsibly, it can be just as safe as the recreational use of alcohol. If not used responsibly of course, it could be just as dangerous as the over-use of alcohol. There are silly potheads out there that make the rest of us look bad, but there are silly everything heads out there that can make any group look bad.

Ultimately, we are all adults and must make responsible decisions for ourselves now don’t we?

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